At 4am today I found myself considering googling "how do I surrender" because I think maybe that's why I'm still pregnant.
I have been pregnant for a long time, enough time to find and buy a house and a car, decorate it, host all the major holidays, and witness what feels like the beginning of our country's demise. My desperation to birth this baby seeps through the various keyboards I use, with embarassing browser histories that I'll delete when (if?) I finally go into labor. It turns out, the underbelly of the internet isn't porn, or crime, or ISIS recruiting; it's overdue women seeking to evict their babies.
I've begun folding myself back into bed on weekday mornings after sending my toddler off to day care and listening to questionable labor-inducing visualizations on YouTube. (Who here is surprised they haven't worked yet?) I've purchased castor oil, but haven't yet found the strength (desperation?) to try it, though I get closer every day. I walk. I do the "labor dance" (again, thanks to YouTube). I do so many squats each day that my butt looks better than it ever did pre-pregnancy. I eat whole pineapples. I eat spicy foods even though I don't like spicy foods. I eat eggplant, which is nice because I love eggplant. I massage labor-inducing pressure points. I lie on the couch, moaning with boredom, and watch season 2 of Laguna Beach on demand, because there is literally nothing else on.
It is particularly interesting to be pregnant this long when your first pregnancy came right on time. I don't know these feelings, this swinging from acceptance to rage based on the time of day. With my first I didn't have to have these long pleading talks with my baby in utero. She just came. My water broke and then contractions started and then we went to the hospital and I pushed and she was on my chest, her hair tickling my neck. Now, I've had contractions and false starts for literal weeks. I've had multiple membrane sweeps. I stare off into the distance and try to remember what it feels like to not be pregnant, to have full agency over this body, to not be in pain all day, every day.
I feel sloth-like and pathetic, and sad for myself. Reading the news makes me feel worse, but avoiding the news makes me feel responsible for the impending war we all know is coming. I am hyperbolic and yet fully confident that things in this country, this world, will get much worse before they get better. And this is why I think it's my fault that I haven't had my baby yet. Because I don't want him to have to deal with this place, and I don't want any easy excuse -- dealing with a newborn -- as the reason I can't march, protest, resist.
But this is not sustainable.
So at four in the morning I woke up from a Walking Dead nightmare, which is surprising because I stopped watching that show last year. In the darkness I tried to have a real, true heart-to-heart with my boy. I apologized for whatever subconscious stuff I'm projecting onto him that's making him stay put. I relaxed my jaw, meditated, breathed deep, envisioned things opening. I tried to envision world peace, too, but that is more difficult to see than my newborn's face.
And then I got up and ate some pineapple. Again.